Cover image for I am Rosa Parks
I am Rosa Parks
Parks, Rosa, 1913-2005.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Puffins Books, [2000].

Physical Description:
48 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
The black woman whose acts of civil disobedience led to the 1956 Supreme Court order to desegregate buses in Montgomery, Alabama, explains what she did and why.
General Note:
Also published by: New York : Penguin Young Readers, 2011, 1997.
Reading Level:
520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 18874.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.4 2 Quiz: 30699 Guided reading level: N.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F334.M753 P37 1997C Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
F334.M753 P37 1997C Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F334.M753 P37 1997C Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F334.M753 P37 1997C Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F334.M753 P37 1997C Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955, she made history. Her brave act sparked the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and brought the civil rights movement to national attention. In simple, lively language, Rosa Parks describes her life from childhood to the present and recounts the events that shook the nation. Her story is powerful, inspiring and unforgettable.An NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

Author Notes

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She attended the Montgomery Industrial School, which emphasized domestic sciences such as cooking, sewing, and caring for the sick. She married Raymond Parks in 1932 and was one of the first women to join the Montgomery branch of the NAACP in 1943. On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man and was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance. Her actions inspired 50,000 blacks in Montgomery to boycott the city buses for a year until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the segregated busing policy was unconstitutional.

She moved to Detroit, Michigan with her husband in 1957 and served as a secretary/ receptionist for U.S. Representative John Conyers from 1965 to 1988. She founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, which sponsors an annual summer bus trip around the country for teenagers to learn the history of their country and the civil rights movement. She received numerous awards during her lifetime including the NAACP's Springarn Medal in 1979, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999. She died on October 24, 2005 at the age of 92.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. Without dumbing down, the famous civil rights activist has simplified her YA autobiography, Rosa Parks: My Story (1991), and made it accessible to beginning readers as a Dial Easy-to-Read Book. Like the original title, this one is cowritten by Jim Haskins, and the style is clear and direct, beginning with the drama of her arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on the bus. Parks shows that her personal role was part of a wider political struggle, and she relates the bus boycott to the civil rights movement and to her continuing fight against racism. The design is spacious, with big type, and Clay's paintings, some of them based on famous photographs, capture the segregation scene and the fight to end it. The first-person voice gives weight to Parks' final message: "I hope that children today will . . . learn to respect one another no matter what color they are." --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Thoughtfully targeting their audience, Parks and Haskins reshape and simplify the events they recounted in Rosa Parks: My Story, making this Easy-to-Read book just that. Incorporating age-appropriate definitions of such concepts as segregation and boycotts, Parks's first-person account laces together brief, straightforward sentences that pack powerful messages: "There was no school bus for us," she writes, describing her childhood. "Sometimes when we walked to school, the bus would go by, carrying the white children. They would laugh at us and throw trash out the window. There was no way to stop them." The book's opening sequence, an account of Parks's pivotal arrest on a Montgomery bus, use dialogue to give the narrative an immediacy and urgency ("Why do you push us black people around?" Parks boldly asks the arresting officer); this is, curiously, the only chapter in which the authors use this technique. Clay's (The House in the Sky) paintings, almost one per page, vary from overdramatized tableaux to subtle reinterpretations of historical photographs. These latter illustrations are particularly effective in bolstering the book's inspiring portrayal of a major civil-rights activist. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3‘This brief autobiography introduces readers to Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott. The subjects of segregation in the South and Parks's experience when she refused to give up her seat set a serious and later, hopeful mood. Told in the first person, the text is powerful, accessible to beginning readers, and succinctly covers the events surrounding the boycott. Best of all, Parks ends on a positive note with the desire that children will learn respect, not hate. A few lines of dialogue, several dates, and the mention of locations put the story in perspective. Clay's watercolor paintings enhance the text. Other good books appropriate for the same age group include David Adler's A Picture Book of Rosa Parks (Holiday, 1993) and Eloise Greenfield's Rosa Parks (HarperCollins, 1995).‘Mary M. Hopf, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

I Get Arrestedp. 5
How I Grew Upp. 16
We Stay Off the Busesp. 29
Since the Boycottp. 41